By: Jo-Ann Elie
Being a first time parent, I thought that my pregnancy would be just like in the movies. I would be pregnant for 9 months and then take my beautiful baby home. That did not happen for me.
I was carrying my son very low and at the end of my second trimester, I started bleeding. I had many tests done, but to this day, they don’t know why I kept bleeding. I was 3cm dilated at 24 weeks, therefore I was admitted to the hospital. There I was given magnesium and two steroid shots. I was also given some pills to stop the bleeding. After a week, I was discharged only to come back to the hospital again at 26 weeks due to more bleeding. I was again given magnesium and a second dose of the steroid shots. I was discharged when the bleeding stopped, but a week later it happened again. The doctors told me not to worry unless the bleeding was heavy, so I stayed home.
The day before I went into labor, I was in bed having contractions. Me, being a first time mom, I did not know whether they were Braxton Hicks or the real deal. My water broke at 7 months pregnant, labor lasted 30 minutes and out came my 3 lbs baby boy Kairo. He cried as soon as he came out which warmed my heart. He was premature so I didn’t get to hold him, just a kiss from me and they rushed him to the NICU. Seeing him in the NICU, on oxygen and so many wires attached to him, I was scared. Scared to touch him or to even change his diaper. He was so small. The amazing nurses reassured us that preemies are stronger than we think and that they would not break.
My fiancé and I slept in the NICU for a week, the longest week of my life. I barely slept with the sound of the machines beeping and the nurses coming in to check on him every 2 hours. In four days, he no longer needed cpap and was breathing on his own. From then on, we got to hold him, watch him gain weight, no longer need a feeding tube and finally drink from a bottle.
We finally got the good news that he’s ready to come home, however his heart rate kept dropping. Although the NICU journey is long and tiring, it has made me become more patient. Just watching my baby achieving these milestones, I couldn’t be more proud of him.
My advice to any preemie parent is to hold on tight, keep hope alive and to focus on the milestones that your baby is achieving. It might not seem like much sometimes but they are doing their best.